Live video is immediate, authentic, and interactive. It’s an opportunity to engage with a built-in audience in a way that’s truly social.
BEFORE THE BROADCAST – HAVE A PLAN!
TEST your setup before going live. You can set FB live to “only me” in the live video publishing settings — do a test run and make sure your A/V is up to snuff.
Don’t be the artist who goes live and says, “I don’t know if you guys can see me or hear me yet…”
Think of the test run like you would a recorded rehearsal. Look at it objectively and make sure you are represented the way you want to appear — look, sound, demeanor, banter, background. Review it yourself and fix anything you don’t like before you go live.
Remember, you’re the sound engineer, the lighting director, quality control — it’s all you. This is your career. Artists are reinventing themselves every day. There will be artists who make their mark and launch their careers at this time by being creative and innovative. Be one of them.
Sure, we’ve all seen pro musicians who just turn on their phones and start recording. As celebrities, they will get views regardless. But higher production values will set you apart. Streaming apps allow you to run your live stream like a real production with transitions/split screen, multiple camera angles, title cards/graphics, test streams that are only visible to you, and more. If your app allows for multiple smart devices to be used as cameras, mess around with different angles. A singer/keyboardist with two cameras could do a close-up of the keys and a wide angle showing the room, for example. Bonus points if you have a friend that can be a roaming camera.
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS! If you are using your phone to stream, turn your notifications off. Remember to turn “Vibrate” off or to set your phone to Do Not Disturb. You won’t want your listeners to hear “Rrrrrrr, rrrrrr” every time your friend messages you.
People pay to hear music and to go to concerts. Think of your viewers as your patrons, your supporters. They care about your art and your welfare. Many people genuinely want to help out, and especially during a time of distress. Platforms such as Venmo, Twitch, Patreon, Bandcamp, and others allow viewers to contribute to your livelihood. Use them!
Remind people where they can buy your recordings or your merch. Have links posted on your stream — graphic overlays or scrolling text are a continual reminder for viewers to contribute or buy, or simply linking in the comments (don’t put links in the video description as it will nuke the algorithm when Facebook etc thinks you’re “selling”).
Mention your contribution options often, especially if you are doing a long stream, realizing that viewers may come and go. You will likely have new viewers show up during every song.
If you don’t need the money, then pick a charity to link to your stream. This will help you build an audience and support a noble cause at the same time.
You are responsible for seeking clearance for any music used in the livestream (Facebook now has a blanket music license — covers will eventually be removed / muted!)
Broadcast Partner Considerations
Producing a livestream, especially with high production value, can be expensive. It may be more cost-effective to consider partnering with a relevant brand to help offset production costs. This can mean including their brand within the stream, enabling crossposting abilities, or using the Branded Content Tag tool. Request access to the tool here.
Find an Organic Partner
Leverage partner Pages that would benefit from crossposting or sharing the livestream. Common partners include: venues, promoters, labels, music magazines, and featured artists.
We recommend scheduling your broadcast in order to formalize the livestream ahead of the broadcast, build anticipation, and allow fans to be reminded. You can schedule a broadcast up to one week in advance.
When you schedule a Live broadcast, two posts are automatically created:
- An announcement post: As soon as you schedule your Live broadcast, a post is published to your Page, letting your followers know there’s an upcoming broadcast. People who see the announcement post can click the “Get Reminder” button to receive a one-time reminder notification shortly before the broadcast begins.
- A post containing the Live broadcast: At the scheduled time of the Live broadcast, a post containing your Live stream is automatically published. People who expressed interest via the initial announcement post receive a notification directing them to the broadcast.
Organic Social Media Promotion
• Use all available digital & social channels to drive fans to the “Get Reminder” post created when scheduling a Live broadcast.
• Encourage all partners and Pages to use Facebook & Instagram (feed and Stories) directing to the “Get Reminder” post.
• Use the Countdown Sticker on Instagram Stories to build anticipation ahead of the event.
• Add a link to your Instagram bio or use “swipe up” to link directly to the livestream from Instagram.
• Avoid sounding too promotional – Keep the tone of your content conversational and highlight the content of the livestream to get fans excited.
• Use Facebook & Instagram Polls (can be used in Stories or in feed) to solicit feedback or generally interact with fans.
• Ex – “What song do you want to hear during the live show?”
• Don’t distract from the broadcast by polling too much!
• Find relevant Facebook Groups that may be interested in your broadcast; invite them to host Watch Parties or share the livestream link amongst Group members
DURING THE BROADCAST
Crossposting Vs. Sharing
Crossposting a livestream means that the stream view counts are combined but the conversation in the comments section is kept separate. If you’d like to consolidate the conversations, consider sharing instead of crossposting.
AFTER THE BROADCAST
Livestreams often start before the action begins, and that stand-by time can make the first few seconds of a recording less engaging. Use the trimming feature to specify exactly when you want the VOD (video-on-demand) version to begin and end.
Driving VOD Views
- Create content (clips and highlight videos) that drive back to the livestream VOD URL
- Continuing to interact with the Live broadcast video (replying to fans, commenting, etc.) will give Facebook signals that the video is still relevant
- Embed the video on your website, in your newsletter, and any other owned digital channels
- Consider rewarding fans who have interacted with the broadcast by offering merchandise, tickets, or messages from the artists.
- It is not possible to connect to IG Live via the API; this is only available on mobile & for a maximum of 1 hour.
- If you have the rights, we recommend uploading the horizontal video to your IGTV channel. Learn more here.
IGTV Promotional Considerations:
- Share a preview to your Instagram news feed (this will be an option when uploading)
- Create an Instagram Story linking to the video
- Share the Facebook Live or IGTV link across all owned digital channels
Be sure to check out more of our Free Advice!